"I didn't think we needed to play a perfect game," Eisenberg said.And by far they didn't, falling prey to a tenacious Bergtraum press. Francis Lewis committed almost as many turnovers as points it scored, and Bergtraum prevailed, 66-45, on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, to win its seventh straight city championship.Junior Vionca Murray scored a team-best 17 points for the Patriots, who committed 37 turnovers - including 22 in the first half."(That was) the only thing that stopped us," Murray said. "We got through it, but it was too late. We're a better team than that."Lewis trailed 14-12 after one quarter and 33-20 at halftime. Top-seeded Bergtraum hadn't stopped pressing, often trapping Lewis' best ball-handler, Diatiema Hill, before she could even cross the halfcourt line. Hill finished with 7 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists for the Patriots."We had a plan to take Hill out of the game," Bergtraum coach Ed Grezinsky said. "We went to a zone press. They had a lot of problems with it."Blazers guards Erica Morrow and Epiphanny Prince, one of the top-rated juniors in the country, each had 7 steals. Prince finished with 19 points, Morrow with 15 and Helena Sargeant with 12 for the Bergtraum (26-2), ranked the nation's No. 7 team by USA. They face Nottingham (Syracuse) in the state Federation Class AA semifinal Friday at 1:30 p.m. in Glens Falls. The winner takes on No. 1 Christ the King for the Class AA title Saturday at 5:45 p.m.Jessica Fuller, winner of the game's sportsmanship award, had nine points, six blocks and a game-high 14 rebounds for the Lewis (29-2). Asked what he thought it would take to eventually bring down Bergtraum, Eisenberg replied: "A combination of Epiphanny Prince graduating and Ed Grezinsky retiring. The problem facing everyone in the city is, Bergtraum only has one senior."After the game, which marked the fourth time in the past five years that Lewis has lost to Bergtraum in the final, Eisenberg consoled his team, then headed to the Blazers' locker room to congratulate them. "I told them I was very proud of them, the way they played," he said. "Other teams trash talk and flex and strut. They win and they're classy about it."Reach contributing writer Christine Sampson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2005 Community News Group
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